Fujitsu Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. are discussing a linking of their system LSI chip operations, according to some Japanese investment analysts contacted Wednesday by EBN.
The news comes two days after Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced they are planning to combine their system-on-a-chip businesses.
The Nikkei press also carried a report in its Thursday (Japanese time) editions that Fujitsu and Toshiba were the latest to seek a union of SOC operations.
Fujitsu and Toshiba were unavailable for comment on the report because their offices in Tokyo were closed for a national holiday. A Fujitsu spokesman in the U.S. said he had heard nothing on linking the firm's SOC business with Toshiba.
Toshihiro Shimada, semiconductor analyst for ING Barings Tokyo office, said he will explain in an upcoming SOC market report on Japan that sales in the new technology never r eached the high expectations of chip makers. Therefore, he felt it was a natural consequence that four major firms needed to find partners to cut costs and achieve more efficient production levels.
The consolidation of system LSI operations among the four Japanese firms would leave NEC to continue alone in the SOC market. However, Shimada felt NEC had a strong position in this field and could manage better than the others in remaining a lone SOC player.